Ben’s Chili Bowl

What the heck's a half-smoke?!

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It’s a sausage in a hot dog bun, charred on the outside and, if you ask for it, charred on the inside, which makes the whole thing crispy. And juicy.

Top it with onions, chili and mustard. Spicy, but not too much to handle.

Fans include French Pres. Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, President Obama and just about everybody in DC. Ben’s, a neighborhood institution, opened in 1958.  The place has a diner decor, atmosphere, and hours. Stop by at noon, midnight or 2am and find the place filled with a cross-section of ages, faces, personalities, races. In fact, Ben’s now has locations at Reagan National Airport, Nationals Park, in the Atlas District and elsewhere.

Here’s something not everyone knows: Ben’s is highly vegetarian friendly, thanks to a killer veggie chili, and other meat-free options.

Cash only. No alcohol.

Tip: Take time to peruse the mural abutting Ben’s and the alley. Among the figures portrayed are Harriet Tubman, Muhammad Ali, Chuck Brown, Marion Barry and  Jim Vance.

Metro: U St.-African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo on the Green and  Yellow Lines.

Categories: Eat: American |
Tags: Local Favorites |

At A Glance

1213 U St. NW
Washington 20009
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